I agree with the concern about durability and damage when falling. I often ski "quite hard", and if I push too far, sometimes I do fall, also quite hard. So an expensive display that is destroyed as I "gently tumble" 50 yards down the hill is a very expensive toy to break.
The other thing is that skiers really do not need the distraction, no matter how cool it is. CEll-phone skiing is as bad as drunk skiing, and a whole lot less welcome.
Probably the display could be great for some sport like bowling, or golf, where computer assistance in calculating aims could be very valuable, and running into other folks is quite easy to avoid.
@bobjengr: In a combat situation the last thing I would want is for the guy covering my flank to be looking at a map inside a pair of goggles. Much of the life saving information can come from things observed by peripheral vision and in this case what the soldier would see is how fast he was going. Not particularly useful data.
I had a similar thought about the safety aspect. However, there is significant talk and development about making this type of technology standard in cars. Maybe if there is a big implementation with ski goggles it can be proven one way or another before every distracted driver has it installed.
@bobjengr: I agree with the safety concerns, despite the fact I know there would be a huge audience for this. I know the display is in your peripheral vision, but blazing down the slopes, especially at 30 mph or more is a challenge in itself on hard terrain--the last thing you need is any distraction, even if it is relevant like GPS mapping, and the noise of text/emails. Now taking advantage of all that info on the chair lift--that's a totally different story.
I see real potential for our military. Maybe that capability already exists, or at least I would like to think so. The GPS and map features might be a great help and free a soldier's hands for other tasks. As far as downhill skiing while reading text messages, it seems to me the same unsafe situation would be there when compared to driving and texting. Great article Charles.
We got a sports radar detector some years ago to check speed skiing. I like to ride between 30 and 50 mph which is the limit of the slope in many cases. The last 2 years we have used two different Contour Video cameras. The Contour with the mapping of both speed and elevation is cool. The down side is when you wreck both the Go Pro and the Contour will be damaged and I do wreck.
I would like to test it downhill mountain biking as well as skiing. So where can I get one?
Sounds like a gadget lover's dream. I think as long as someone is comfortable receiving info in that manner and can train themselves to absorb data from within their peripheral vision, it would work great. The GPS addition is definitely a plus, especially when you're covering big mountain terrain, back country, or glade skiing.
Hey Beth, the HUD actually sits in your periferal, so it doesn't distract you while you're skiing or reduce your field of vision. You don't actually see it until you glance down and look at it. The UI is designed to be easy to read in split-second glances to get important info like speed, altitude, time, etc. When you're stopped or on the chairlift you can glance down and easily read more detailed info like your text messages, or pull up navigation or your music player. Also, if you get lost in the trees (which I sometimes do), you can open up navigation while stopped and easily find your way back to the trails. This saved my butt in Whistler more than a couple times this season. Hope that helps :)
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